Two First Nations in B.C. share child welfare agreement – and salmon

Two First Nations in B.C. came together this week to sign a declaration recognizing their child welfare jurisdiction.

To mark the occasion and follow their tradition, the Gitsegukla traded salmon with the Simpcw.

There was also drumming and singing during their ceremony in Prince George, B.C.

Gitsegukla Chief Anne Howard said the declaration was significant.

“I’m honoured to stand with you today in this historic signing in two nations working together for our children and future generations,” she said.

The declaration ensures the nations will be involved with the planning, protection and placement of their children in contact with the child welfare system.

The Simpcw signed a walking-together agreement with the B.C. Ministry of Children and Families last year. It was the first co-created child welfare agreement in the province.

Their elders encouraged them to strengthen the declaration by partnering with another nation.

So the Simpcw agreed to share their child welfare agreement with the Gitsegukla by accepting salmon sockeye in trade.

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